I will give you some tips on saving money on gluten-free and wholesome food and back-to-school shopping. I have put together some of my favorite back-to-school savings tips for families.
Be sure to make it to the end. The last tip is the best.
This post on How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping includes:
- How to Save Money on Healthy School Lunches
- How to Save Money Grocery Shopping for Back to School
- How to Save Money on School Supplies and Kids Clothes
- How to Save Money on College
How to Save Money on Healthy School Lunches
My kids prefer to bring lunch from home. Thankfully, this allows me to (mostly) know what they are eating each day and provide healthy lunches that help sustain them through the school day.
As you probably know, healthy food can be expensive. For back-to-school savings, one of the ways I reduce the cost of lunch food is to buy in bulk. For relatively low prices, Costco has a great variety of produce, some organic. Every weekend we do a Costco run late in the day near closing when it is least crowded.
Amazon also offers healthy bulk snacks. I stock up on fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks, Ziploc baggies, or other storage containers.
Prepare school lunches ahead of time to save money on back-to-school food
Every Sunday, I prepare the kids’ lunches for the week. I have a whole School Lunches Organization System for Stress-Free Lunch Packing. First I cut, sort, and organize the lunches for the week by day. Then I have a soft hanging shoe/sweater rack for the non-refrigerated items and a whiteboard to keep track of the lunch planned for each day.
Each day, I aim to include one protein, fruit, and vegetables, a healthy-ish side such as wheat crackers, a snack, and a dessert.
Although this method takes time, I save much money instead of giving pre-packaged lunches and snacks. You can get many of these organization products and save even more money with Kohl’s deals.
Back to School Savings – How to Save Money Grocery Shopping for Back to School
I write many posts about saving money on groceries. To give you a few quick tips, here are some ideas on how to get back-to-school savings while grocery shopping.
Check to see if your store has its coupon app
One of the apps I use often is the H-E-B has a coupon app. First, you must select the coupons you want to use to add them to your account. Then, you type in your phone number and PIN at checkout, and the vouchers will be applied. Also, there are the Target Cartwheel App, printable coupons for Target, coupons for Walmart, and coupons for Whole Foods, to name a few.
Bring coupons with you
You can cut out coupons from the paper or print coupons online here. Before I shop, I search the coupon database for items on my list. This database shows me where available coupons for that product are located (printable, Sunday paper, etc.). Check out my post, How do I find coupons? for more tips on finding coupons.
Use the Ibotta app
Another money-saving app, the Ibotta app, gives you cash back for purchasing items. With this app, you must scan barcodes and receipts after buying the items.
Key tips for How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping
I wrote a whole post about Tips on How to Save Money and Not End Up Spending Even More. The key takeaways are to plan and be flexible. For example, I write out my shopping list and then organize coupons or search for coupons based on that list. Let’s say I have pasta on my list.
I usually buy store-brand pasta, but I spot this coupon for $1 off 4 Barilla Pasta boxes. I will print or take this coupon with me and compare prices to see if the Barilla price is better after the coupon than the store brand without a coupon.
For more back-to-school savings, also consider backpacks for under $10.
Before buying anything on Amazon, checkout My Secrets: How To Get Amazon Coupons, Codes, Free Stuff, and Deals
Back to School Savings – How to Save Money on School Supplies and Kid’s Clothes
Our school has a deal with a company that pre-packages school supplies and will send them right to your door. Yes, this is convenient, but in the end, it costs more than buying all the items yourself.
If you start early enough in the summer, then you can comparison shop and get the best deal on school supplies. I got most of our school supplies from Target school supplies and Amazon school supplies.
Amazon has school supply lists here. Last summer, Target had a free $5 gift card deal when you spend $30 on school supplies. You can also buy supplies in bulk on either Amazon or through Costco and share them with a friend/friends.
How do I find coupons? Check out the How to Find Printable Coupons for Retail Stores and Restaurants as part of the post. You can apply the same method for clothes and school supplies, just like getting grocery coupons.
Be open to second-hand clothes
For another one of my back-to-school money-saving tips, buy or borrow from friends or family. Check out Craigslist, eBay, garage sales, or online neighborhood garage sale groups.
Check out clothing swaps to save money on back-to-school kids’ clothes
Clothing swaps are budget-friendly ways to trade your family’s clothes, shoes, and accessories for new (to you) items. Every year I go to the clothing swap at Crestview United Methodist Church.
I bring a bag (or bags) of things we no longer wear, and I come with a FREE bag (or bags) and different clothes, shoes, etc., for all of us. If you don’t have a clothing swap near year, create one with friends and family.
Ask for discounts and coupons
Don’t be afraid to ask for coupons or discounts. You never know what they might offer you. I was at the Vera Bradley Outlet store over the summer, the day after my birthday. While checking out, the cashier asked if I’d like to join the email list for birthday coupons.
I told her my birthday was just yesterday and asked if I could still get the discount. She said, “Yes.” I got 25% off just for the asking! Therefore, it can never hurt to ask. To get more tips on coupons and discounts, read How to Ask For Coupons and How to Ask for Discounts.
How to Save Money on College
Back to School Money Saving Tips for college students. Start now! It’s never too early to prepare. For college savings, look for 529 plans or other savings plans. For college shopping, look into getting a free Prime Student account.
Also, check out Bed Bath and Beyond and Target College Deals. For textbooks, check out Amazon deals on college textbooks and Barnes and Noble deals on college textbooks. Also, take a look at UPromise to get cash back for college from restaurants and retailers on the things you’re buying and doing anyway. Use that link to get $20 added to your UPromise account.
In some cases, you can find free college textbooks.
The Best Tip to save money for Back To school
The #1 best tip to save money on back-to-school supplies, is not to bring your kid shopping with you! Cut out their impulse buys. Leave them behind when you shop for them.
To summarize, if you want back to school savings, think ahead, prepare, buy in bulk, ask/look for coupons and discounts, and be open to second-hand items.
Greg is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 22+ years experience in Financial Services. He has held numerous FINRA Securities licenses (series 7, 63, 65, and 66), and is an expert on Investment Products and Financial Planning. Greg has 22+ years experience as a real estate investor and degrees in Psychology and Philosophy.
Greg has been quoted/interviewed in Yahoo Money, Yahoo Finance, USA Today, Authority Magazine, Realtor.com, Business Insider, and others.
Greg is an avid runner, and the father to identical twin girls and their awesome brother. His love of budgeting and his kids led him to join The Great Resignation in 2021.
Disclaimer: Any Financial Tips on ChaChingQueen are general and informational. Speak with a professional about your specific situation.